Thursday, April 5, 2012

Cayucos: The Rest of the Trip

A few months ago when Brett was working a booth at the Equine Affair, he talked to some people at a neighboring booth about a horse vacation place in Central California.  Brett thought it sounded interesting and like a nice guest ranch, similar to the Alisal that we love so much.  It was about an hour and a half inland from where we were staying in Cayucos.  What else to do on a rainy day?  We started driving.

The drive was beautiful -- narrow roads through wooded canyons...

...and velvet hills.

The "resort" was located in Parkfield.  Population 18.  I kid you not.  Rusted cars, abandoned farm equipment, a rustic lodge and a cafe.  We ate lunch at the cafe (where resort guests take all their meals).  All the beef is from the ranch, grass fed, and Brett's burger was delicious.  We asked if we could see the ranch but were told you had to have prior permission.  Brett had tried to call before we left, but no one answered the phone.  The cafe guy said no one was answering his phone either.  The ranch was not near the lodging but a few miles further up the road.  We drove up to the gate and then turned around and headed back to Cayucos.  It wasn't bad but it certainly wasn't the world class resort that they portrayed in their literature.

On the way back, I noticed a small cemetery as we driving along -- in the middle of nowhere.  We pulled over and explored.  Brett and I love walking through old cemeteries, reading the headstones, and imagining the stories.  

The rain started coming down as we walked amongst the gravestones.

34 years old.  How sad is that? 

The graveyard looked abandoned; all overgrown with crumbling headstones.

But there were also a few more recent headstones, like this one from a World War II vet.  I loved the iris.

We got back in the car, thoroughly drenched but happy.  The cemetery was much more interesting than the "resort" and worth the drive.  My wool coat was wet and the car smelled like a wet sheep and my boots were soaked all the way through -- but I didn't care.  I researched Imusdale and learned that it was a small homesteading community, lasting about 25 years in the late 1800s.  It was probably part of the short lived mining boom.  ...think California gold rush.

Back at the Cass House, we dried off and relaxed with some wine and cheese (complimentary) before dinner.  The dinner was awesome.  Truly awesome.  Four courses, -- four imaginative, artistic, delicious courses - with a wine paired to each course.  It was one of the best meals we've had and we've had some doozies in France and here in the US (French Laundry, etc).

The dessert "ants on a log" sounds strange but it was amazing.  The celery sorbet was light and refreshing and the different parts played like a symphony.  I'm not kidding.

Sunday morning was sunny and cold with a high surf warning.  After another great breakfast, we walked over to the beach to check out the waves.  On a normal day the surf looks like this (picture from Saturday morning):
Notice how far below the pier the waves are breaking.

 This was Sunday morning:

Just to the left of this photo there were two pier supports, broken and washed up on the beach.  Yikes!

Needless to say, we didn't venture out on the pier.  Nope, we went back to the inn and relaxed on the front porch until it was time to check out.


  1. You two sure know how to live life to the fullest!

    Surf's up!!!!

  2. Next time we bring the horses and teach them how to deal with real surf; or maybe, see if we can ride them out to the end of the pier.

  3. What a lovely photos of that wild sea.It's incredible how wood poles can stay there, holding that bridge.
    Lovely tryp.

  4. Yikes! I'm not sure I would have gone out on the pier either lol. Those waves are amazing!

    I love the shot of the velvet hills. Beautiful!

    Your whole trip has been a lot of fun to read about. I need to vacation with you guys to learn how to relax lol. :D


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